By DOUG NURSE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, January 30, 2009
In Milton, it’s out with the new and in with the old. Again.
The city released Interim Milton City Manager Mort Smedley three weeks ahead of the end of his contract date. Public Safety Manager Chris Lagerbloom will take over Sunday as acting city manager for the third time since the city was founded Dec. 1, 2006.
Smedley was hired in October on a short-term contract when veteran manager Billy Beckett resigned after a few months on the job because of conflict with some council members.
Mayor Joe Lockwood said that when he approached Smedley about staying through the end of February, Smedley told him he had another opportunity he wanted to pursue. Smedley, who is semi-retired, serves on scientific research boats in the Caribbean Sea and other locales.
Lockwood agreed to release Smedley early. Smedley’s contract was set to expire Feb. 20.
“It was never the plan for him to stay on permanently,” Lockwood said.
The city now has to start advertising for a new city manager, the fourth in the past two years, although Lockwood said the council has the option of keeping Lagerbloom as city manager. Lagerbloom has filled the breach between city managers.